Megumi Fushiguro from Jujutsu Kaisen and Aki Hayakawa from Chainsaw Man are frequently contrasted. They are both deuteragonists with black hair, aloof personalities, and stoic demeanors. Because of their similar skills, some fans have joked that Aki is Megumi's second coming. Perhaps the initial comparison to Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto will be made to every aloof deuteragonist in shonen fiction. In fact, Jujutsu Kaisen was initially criticized for being just another Naruto clone, which was one of the most frequent criticisms. Fans are currently equating Aki and Megumi with Sasuke.
Both Sasuke and Chainsaw Man may have drawn inspiration from him, but most of the criticism focuses on the notion that Megumi from Jujutsu Kaisen is a copy of Sasuke and that Aki from Chainsaw Man is a copy of Megumi. Comparing and contrasting individuals is nothing new, but each of the three has a distinct reason for choosing to pursue their chosen careers, whether it is devil hunting, jujutsu sorcery, or being a ninja. Though none of them are exact replicas of their predecessor, Megumi and Aki in particular are more dissimilar than fans may assume.
Megumi from JJK and Aki from Chainsaw Man are less similar than they appear
It's easy to assume that Megumi and Aki are cut from the same cloth upon first look. They're both black-haired deuteragonists whose calmer personalities balance out the protagonist and female lead's chaotic antics. Plus, Aki's Kon is similar to the shikigami in Megumi's Ten Shadows cursed technique. They also have complicated pasts that give them a purpose to pursue their respective professions. However, the surface-level similarities end there and don't say much for either character.
Aki and Megumi are quite different from what the first-glance analysis suggests. For starters, they entered devil hunting and jujutsu sorcery for entirely different reasons. In Chainsaw Man, Aki was hellbent on avenging his brother and defeating the Gun Devil. Meanwhile, Megumi is passionate about protecting innocent lives as a jujutsu sorcerer, though he doesn't consider himself a hero in Jujutsu Kaisen.
The roles in their respective stories are also distinct from each other. Aki takes on more of a big brother role for Denji and Power. He's the most mature in their friend group, and they look up to him. Together, the three have a found-family type of relationship. Meanwhile, Megumi, Nobara Kugisaki and Yuji Itadori are teenage best friends who work exceptionally well together. The dynamics between Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen's leading trios are heartwarming, but for entirely different reasons.
Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen Comparisons: The Aki/Megumi Comparison Is One of Many
Unfortunately, every shonen anime that comes out will first be compared to Naruto, Bleach or One Piece. Then, it will be compared to whatever vaguely similar popular title was released before it. Though shonen anime can feel formulaic and even derivative occasionally, trying to argue that every series is a carbon copy of the last is unfair. Such is the case for Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen.
Though the two series definitely share similar themes and their power systems may look alike, they're individual stories with something unique to offer. The comparisons between Megumi Fushiguro and Aki Hayakawa are just a few in a long stream of debates over whether or not Chainsaw Man is merely Jujutsu Kaisen in different packaging.
Aki and Megumi are well-written characters who stand out as some of the best in their respective series. They've both come a long way since the beginning, whether warming up to Denji and Yuji respectively or displaying spirits of self-sacrifice when their friends are in danger. They may have much in common at the surface level, but both deserve more than a shallow analysis. Just as Megumi Fushiguro wasn't a Sasuke Uchiha knockoff, Aki Hayakawa is not the new Megumi.